2012 ranks update: Final edition 

December, 11, 2012
12/11/12
1:54
PM ET
Welcome back to the final week of our end-of-season rankings. After all, there aren't that many weeks left! We're into the fantasy playoffs in most leagues, and the decisions you make are even more critical. Hopefully you enjoyed this weekly blog entry, and don't worry, we'll be planning ahead with 2013 rankings soon enough. Look for our Week 15 rankings on Wednesday, and best of luck in your playoffs!

Quick click by position, for easy reference:

Top 40 Quarterbacks | Top 60 Running Backs | Top 60 Wide Receivers

Top 30 Tight Ends | Top 32 Defense/Special Teams | Top 100 Overall

Top 40 Quarterbacks



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The big story at quarterback for the final three weeks will be the condition of Washington Redskins star Robert Griffin III. As of Tuesday morning, we still don't know whether the leading fantasy scorer will be able to play in Week 15, and certainly the weeks after that are problematic. Regardless, it's too simplistic to say "this is what you get" with running quarterbacks, because Griffin is a special talent. He drops from fourth to sixth in these rankings due to the unknown, and fellow Redskins rookie Kirk Cousins -- who certainly does not play the same style or bring similar fantasy upside -- enters the rankings. It's the fantasy playoffs. Don't rely on Cousins if you don't have to.

As for the other top quarterback options, we talk about Aaron Rodgers every week, and every week he puts up numbers that don't match his first-round status. It's yet another reason why choosing a quarterback in the first round is a mistake. Rodgers has exceeded 15 fantasy points -- which would have been a ho-hum performance in 2011 -- just once in his past six games. This doesn't mean you sit him in the fantasy playoffs, of course, and he doesn't drop in the rankings here. After all, how many other quarterbacks are consistently playing well? In Week 14, only three QBs exceeded 22 points, and one was Philadelphia Eagles rookie Nick Foles, who doesn't deserve a top-20 rank yet.

Cam Newton, however, owns fantasy football these days. In each of the past three weeks, no quarterback has outscored Newton, and there's really no end in sight with games against the San Diego Chargers, Oakland Raiders and New Orleans Saints coming up. Newton was a disappointment the first 10 weeks. He isn't anymore. If you have him, you obviously have to start him.

In other quarterback news, Eli Manning is back in the top 10, edging out Tony Romo and Josh Freeman. Frankly, they all could be tied for 10th, though; they're that close. Colin Kaepernick continues to thrive due to his legs. Ben Roethlisberger returned after a few missed games and delivered an uneven performance, but 22 fantasy points are good enough, and he's healthy. He took hits. He ran. He threw well. He moves up. Jay Cutler, whose status for Week 15 is uncertain, moves down. And Christian Ponder has been so bad recently for the Minnesota Vikings that backup Joe Webb crashes the rankings. And speaking of poor quarterback play, as of this writing, the Arizona Cardinals had signed Brian Hoyer off the waiver wire and actually might use him. You, on the other hand, should not.

Top 60 Running Backs





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